Thursday, November 29, 2012

Morning After

In case you've ever wondered, that quote from 'The Sugar Islands' on the top left corner of our blog is supposed to be tongue-in-cheek. We love being able to tell people that in four and a half years we've never had a security 'incident' here. Not one. Not even here in the "poorest country in the Western Hemisphere." Haiti is perceived by so many as a lawless, savage and dangerous place. That perception is fueled by the State Department, by the media (check this and this out for two especially over-the-top examples), by NGO and UN security restrictions and red zones. In reality, where I grew up in West Africa and nearly every other country in Latin America have much higher rates of violent crime - especially crime that targets foreigners.

We don't have a car -- I walk or take public transport to get around and Ben drives a motorcycle. We don't have a security guard. We try not to take unnecessary risks but we don't feel unsafe. Aside from unknowingly having my pockets picked a time or two in a crowd, we have never had any untoward experiences.

Unfortunately, that changed last night while Ben was driving a friend home. They passed a group of street kids fighting at Place St Pierre, across from the cathedral. One threw another one in front of Ben's moto and he wrecked on top of the kid. After they pulled the bike off of him (the kid was fine, more or less), five of them jumped Ben. His pockets were emptied and he gained a long razor blade slash in the leg while another one took off on Ben's moto. The moto came back, thank god, and Ben went to the police (stationed one block away). They shrugged.

(We've put a temporary block on Ben's phone number until he can replace his phone, so use email if you need to reach him).

It feels pretty icky. Hopefully, it won't also feel like tetanus.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

bits and pieces of a weekend on the farm





new rock pathway planted with mint and nasturiums // good morning // watercress // fog // fancy a wash? // honey and honeyhive orange // seren (dew) // pine firestarter // farm // horse shit makes great compost

Monday, November 19, 2012

Changes II

“I like to live in the sound of water, in the feel of the mountain air. A sharp reminder hits me: this world still is alive; it stretches out there shivering toward its own creation, and I’m part of it. Even my breathing enters into this elaborate give-and-take, this bowing to sun and moon, day and night, winter, summer, storm, still—this tranquil chaos that seems to be going somewhere. This wilderness with a great peacefulness in it. This motionless turmoil, this everything dance.” - William Stafford

Over the weekend, Ben and I began moving into a tranquil off-the-grid cottage in the mountains above Port-au-Prince.

We've been desperately in need of change that will ground us to the earth, to god, to more simplicity, intention and space. Our lives in Port-au-Prince have become too busy, too plugged in, too full of politics and constant reaction to crisis. We have become overly judgmental and cynicism has crept into our work and our relationships in unhealthy ways.

Thus, for at least the next six months we'll be living in Kenscoff on a farm and eco-preserve that is only accessible by foot. The land belongs to a dear friend, and we'll be helping her make plans for it, work it, grow in it and build on it.

We will be living in a lush, foggy, quiet, bio-diverse wonderland where there are birds and butterflies and frogs that sound like tinkling bells. We will have a pet horse. We will wake up to this view every single day:

Meanwhile, Ben will continue to work as a photographer and I will continue to work for Other Worlds, but part-time. We've found a roommate for our house in Pétionville so that we can still have a place to stay down the mountain when needed.

We don't feel tired anymore. 

Thursday, November 8, 2012


Thinking about changes we need to make 
 for more balance, space and spiritual grounding in our lives...


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